Thursday, April 29, 2010

fresh from the woods

 We've been on the hunt for a week now.  This weekend we were finally rewarded for our constant forest floor watching. We found about a pound of morels , in fact Felix was the first one to spot them.  They present themselves to you and all of a sudden pop pop pop, you start seeing them all over, it's like magic.  And so is the woods, we are soaking up all of the outdoors we can this spring, because we know, like the morels, it's fleeting.

 thanks for all the great feedback about Red Bird Farm,  we're going to plant those onions this weekend, and we'll probably bring the fiddle too.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Red Bird Farm

In what seems like a crazy step towards growing and feeding our family with our own hands this year we are renting a small plot of farmland,  we named it Red Bird Farm.

Knowing our family's limitations we are happily sharing the space with friends, another able family that is taking a leap too.  Storage vegetables is the idea,  dried beans, squash, onions, pumpkins, beets, carrots and potatoes. 
We're renting the space, 1/4 acre, from another waaayyyyy able friends who've bought 80 acres outside of Madison. 
We met out there last night to plant & plot out the garden, play a few tunes and chase after the children.  We got the 7 rows of potatoes in before the rain, leaving the onions for another day.

I love the collaborative nature of this project.  Feeling like it's totally ok if we fail but what a great way to spend one evening a week out in the country, on our tiny farm. I just hope the kids remember this.
   updates all summer I hope.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Addicted to annuals

Spring this year in Wisconsin is absolutely the most perfect spring we've ever had.  That perfect sunny 60's weather that begs you to have your coffee outside.  It's so nice in fact that I am terrified by the idea 40 degree weather again.  How quickly I get spoiled.  We've planted our kale, beets, potatoes, spinach etc. and are eager to get more into the ground.  And I caught the annual bug last weekend, from my mother.  I arrived at her house & saw flats of annuals ready to put into window boxes. Already??
So I did the same.  I know I know we're risking it, it's April 20th for gods sakes !  But I'm rollin' the dice. 
More garden photo's coming once things come up, we have a whopping 4 going this year ( in different locations) I guess this early start was a good thing.  

I love this season. 

( meg that dirty feet photo is for you ;)

Friday, April 16, 2010

New inspiration

Restless cleaning up energy made me see all these things today,  lots of red huh.    I'm paring down the inside from toys, books & piles of projects, trying to get to a clean, fresh ( spring ) feel.  Moving our life outside is so pleasent but it does take a toll on our floors.  Random thoughts on a sunny windy friday afternoon.  Hopeing to have a productive gardening weekend,  cross your fingers for me.
Happy weekend everyone.

1) a print I bought here, finally found a good spot for it this afternoon,  great words to live by.
2) these fantastic red boots that have been though so many little feet, finally made their way back to Oscar just in time for mucky gardening.
3) Another piece acquired this winter from Adam, a great musician & artist.
4) The first tulips bloomed this morning.  Our house guests are horse folks, so I thought this bottle would be perfect.
5)This crazy book with fantastic illustrations.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

farm & forest buttons

Here are some of the most recent ( and finished) handwork projects I've done.  I think I'll call them the farm & forest buttons.  My interest in these started when I couldn't for the life of me embroider a chicken head, not super happy with this one either really, and I thought these buttons would be good practice.  I looked in vintage story books nabbed from my mom's place ( sorry mom ) wanting the portraits to look like old illustrations.  I really love the way the sheep turned out and the bear.  I have a goose, wolf, fox & a mouse in the works.  Now what should these go on?  esty or hoard? 
some embroidery books I used for this project:
Kyuuto : Japanese Crafts! Wooly Embroidery
The complete book of embroidery stitches

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

homemade ricotta

I have these fantasy's sometimes of making my own butter, cheese, bread, clothes, bean bags & toys, and any other item that seems within my reach of abilities but aren't equipped yet with the rite stuff.  While I do do some of these things on that small list I don't claim that they are very good or anything to brag about.  ( A recent 6 year old guest said during lunch " I wish you had some regular bread" it hurt a little I admit.  )
But I made ricotta today that f'n rocked !!   At my workplace there is a free bin & there on sunday night were 4 quarts of spoiled whole milk, perfect for making ricotta.   So after lunch today, I found this recipe and made some while hanging out in the kitchen with Felix.  I have made ricotta before, but I remembered sitting over the pot for 45 min. waiting waiting waiting,  but this seemed so easy.  Maybe it was because I didn't have any $ in it or that I'm finally beginning to trust myself.  We had it for dinner with fish, capers, tomatoes & couscous.  And will have it tomorrow with maple syrup drizzled and maybe maybe I'll try a custard recipe I found.    Or what else should I do????

Thursday, April 1, 2010


A few views from the morning.
 This electric blue is wonderful isn't it?

A shelf in the kitchen, which is collecting yellow pretty things.  While cleaning up I realized this was oscar's birthday candle, thought I would save it.  A good friend has her children's birthday candles in little jars, which I think is the sweetest thing.   I think this vintage duck banjo tea cup is perfect to hold oscar's wish. 

A beautiful piece of maple veneer Todd dyed a while back.   I planted sweet peas under this little structure last week in he herb garden,  I hope they come up soon.

We're making some changes around our house so I may not see everyone for a while, back to work for this mama.  I feel so thankful that I've gotten to sped 4 years with my guys.  When I get a moment I'll post what's new in our neck of the woods.  Be sure I'll be looking at what you all post everyday.
Happy April everyone.